The world is facing many challenges in the 21st century and our children will be responsible for the world, each other, and the environment.
The future of the world and its people relies on us preparing our students to be able to take on this responsibility. This is a complex undertaking requiring knowledge, understandings, empathy and a complex set of thinking and personal skills. Our programmes help students understand the issues of humanity and the planet and challenge each student to care about and be a part of a solving the issues, that face us today and will emerge in the future.
We share the motivation of the IB and its mission ‘to create a better world through education’. The IB aims to ‘develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect….to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners….’
We seek to develop in our young people, ‘thoughtful empathy’ so that they can appreciate how challenges impact on others and are stirred to take action. We also endeavor to empower, or give ‘agency’ to our young people so that they believe they can make a difference in their action ‘for the good of all’ and to develop them as ‘change-makers’ or ‘social entrepreneurs’ who can identify patterns in the life around them, identify problems, figure out solutions, organize fluid teams, lead group action and adapt as situations change.
To focus this pursuit and to work as part of a global effort, we have adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals, these are:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life On Land
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships For The Goals
The UN Sustainable Goals have been incorporated throughout our curriculum from Grade 1-12 and provides a framework for learning about these issues, for discussion and working together with others. Each of the IB programmes, has its own particular focus on community, service and action.
At Innova Academy, we have created an umbrella programme approach to all of these which we describe as ‘Service Learning’ aimed to engage each student in taking responsibility for meaningful action as responsible members of our global society.
Character, responsibility and leadership cannot be taught from a book. They need to be modelled and developed through being engaged in solving the challenges and problems in our local communities and around the world. This is done with by understanding the issues locally and globally, taking action locally, in the understanding that all action whether big or small makes a difference and impacts globally.
In elementary school, we introduce students to work together on in-class challenges. In Grade 6-10 we support students to work in groups and find areas of personal interest and passion. In Grades 11-12 we mentor each individual to be involved in sustainable endeavours, and independent service and action. These may build upon the efforts of others or be unique initiatives.
We believe that through a shared responsibility, a sense of commitment and through working individually and with others, each student can make a difference in making a better world. As renowned environmentalist, Jane Goodall describes it: ‘seeds can take root in even the most difficult of environments. Alone they are not strong but working together, these shoots can break through and overtake areas covered in concrete.’
We believe that through Service Learning each student will apply, practice and refine high-level ‘future-ready skills’ including empathy, care, problem-solving, communication, cooperation, collaboration, project management and leadership.
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